23 January 2006

First night.

After the tumultuous 30 hours of airports and airplanes, I, along with my new friends Andrea and Leo, arrived in Copenhagen. We made our way to Baggage "reclaim" thankful that we hadn't died on the super tense landing which included a lot of fog, strobe lights and praying.

Once we reached baggage claim, we found ourselves amongst throngs of people. It was probably one of the most disorganized baggage claims I've seen. We waited and waited. Then Andrea found her bags. We waited and waited and waited and waited, when finally, just as I was thinking about giving up, my bags ascended the belt. All of them. Even the little gray duffle I took to the gate with the intention of it being a carry on, but was taken as check anyway.

So, then to customs. We didn't really have anything to claim, so we didn't think it would be a big deal. Were we wrong! It wasn't a deal at all--not even a small one. You walk through a round hallway and find yourself in the main concourse. Poof. Like that.
So, we (the we from now on is Andrea and I) found ourselves a taxi and made our way to the classy, yet cozy Hotel Astoria right next to the Central train station. After a filling meal of a pizza buffet, we hit the sack, glad to be safe and warm and clean and sleeping.

The next morning, we enjoyed a traditional Scandanavian breakfast which includes soft boiled eggs, various meats and chesses, breads, and yes--a danish. I decided that this would be the one time it would be OK to be as cliche' as an American eating a danish in Denmark. Andrea and I finished up our tasty morning meal and dragged our luggage down the elevators and to the train station where, somehow (thanks to English being known by virtually everyone) we found our way to the rendevous point of our program.

What a relief!

For the afternoon, we (along with many other DIS students) explored the city, checked e-mail, found famous sights, and returned to the rendevous point to go through a primary orientation on our individual living situations. Then we waited for our families.

I wasn't sure if I would recognize my family. But when they walked in, I saw them and knew it was my family. I ran across the waiting room screaming dads, and bear hugged them.

Acutally, I did nothing of the sort. I did recognize them, and after a short ride on the metro and a bus, they invited me into one of the most beautiful homes I've been in. We visited for a while over a gin and grapefruit soda then made our way to dinner. The menu included a delicious white asparagus cream soup, frikadeller (Danish meatballs) with potatos and sauce (gravy), and finished up with a course of cheese--all kinds. Two glasses of wine later, we were all feeling nice and warm.

It was a wonderful night. I settled in, and fell contently asleep. Only to miss the bus the next morning.

But I will give you that story tomorrow.

be well!

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